This week we have match reports from the M1, M3, L3, M4 and a Junior Roundup.

LTHC Men’s 1st XI 2 vs Harleston Magpies 1

England Hockey League Conference Midlands

Loughborough Town Men’s 1s hosted Harleston Magpies looking to make it back-to-back home wins in the National league Conference Midlands. A crazy first five mins saw end to end action, before Town’s one and only penalty corner of the game was converted by Ryan Day to take the 1-0 lead. Town weathered a storm of penalty corners well shortly after, with some critical blocks and clearances allowing Harleston to not take full advantage of their opportunities.

©Hitesh Patel

In the second quarter Town settled into the game better, as Town started to pass the ball around to great effect. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop giving away penalty corners and had to weather another storm of them. These did however create some six on three breaks for Town as Harleston failed to convert, though Town didn’t take advantage of these.  Half time came with Town still 1-0.

Going into the second half of the game, Town doubled their lead then when John Harrison and Andrew Capel linked up well to extend the lead, with the latter getting on the scoresheet. However, by the end of the third quarter Harleston had halved Town’s lead when they broke quickly and scored in open play.

©Hitesh Patel

A tense final quarter ensued and Town, having been in a similar position a few weeks ago, didn’t want to concede an equalising late goal.  So, with some very solid defending by Captain Nick Morris and some last ditch defending from Jim Shepherd and James Lewis, Town managed to see the last quarter out. A special mention must go to goalkeeper Toby Jackson for not conceding from sixteen penalty corners.

Final result 2-1 to Loughborough Town, with lots of work still needed during the week to look to continue their form heading to Birmingham next week to play University of Birmingham 2s.

More pictures from the game can be found on this season’s gallery page, here.

LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 3 vs Market Harborough 1st XI 4

Midlands Men’s Division 5 East

After last week’s defeat Loughborough Town Men’s 3s were back at home looking to get a result against Market Harborough 1s.  The game started well as Town won the coin toss for the second week in a row.  With their first possession Town kept hold of the ball well, passing it around with the end result being a goal for team leading scorer Alex Ricoux in the second minute of the game.

Not to be out done Harborough with the restart again worked the ball up the pitch well to grab themselves the equalising goal in the third minute of the game. Losing all confidence Town were then completely on the back foot for the next twenty minutes of the halve, as the away side took a commanding 4-1 lead.  Though just before half time, Town got themselves back into the game as Thomas Haworth-Edwards scored, as the first half ended 4-2 to Harborough.

With some tactical changes made during the half time during the half time team talk Town came out a much better side in the second half.  With more structure and patience, they held Harborough off the scoresheet for the entire half.  With a few good chances to add to their score Town left a little too late as didn’t score their third till ten minutes to go, as Haworth-Edwards doubled his tally. One last chance attack just before the final whistle blew wasn’t enough to get Town a point, with the away side winning 4-3.

Next week Town travel to play Nuneaton 1s looking for that second win of the season.

LTHC Ladies’ 3rd XI 1 vs Towcester 3rd XI 3

Midlands Women’s Division 4 Nene / Charnwood

It was a late, cold and windy start to Saturdays away game for Loughborough Town Ladies’ 3s against Towcester 3s, but after an intense warm up both teams were ready to go!

Three penalty corners were won in the first ten minutes by Town thanks to some brilliant support from the defence. With some near misses, this showed a promising start for Town, though unfortunately Towcester were up 1-0 at the end of the first half. From a lucky break an excellent cross to the penalty spot was put into the goal.

After a motivating team talk from captain Izzy Perry at half time, Town’s performance improved dramatically in the second half with some superb transfers initiated by Annable Page and some great runs down the line by Georgina McCunn. Unfortunately, despite their efforts and some brilliant saves from goalie Kate Horrigan, Towcester scored another two goals making the score 3-0.

Midway through the second half Town won another penalty corner and with an amazing strike from player of the match Fionnhuala Davies, Rhi Bromwich managed to get the rebound ending the game with a 3-1 loss for Town, which was definitely not reflective of their efforts!

LTHC Men’s 4th XI 3 vs Ashby 2nd XI 5

Midlands Men’s Division 6 South East

Loughborough Town Men’s 4s start to this campaign hasn’t been great, but having played twenty-six different players in the first four games has unquestionably contributed to their poor start. The visit of high-flying Ashby 2’s, on a four-game winning streak, certainly wasn’t going to make life any easier for a team that is still trying to find its playing identity.

Electing to start the game with the ball, Town immediately went on the attack looking to take the visitors by surprise. Showing plenty of pace and movement the visitor’s defence was being kept very busy & Loughborough opened the scoring with Luca Hargreaves marking his return to competitive hockey with the opening goal.  Ashby began to come back into the game and an error in front of goal gifted them an equaliser.

Town regrouped and pressed Ashby once more, eager to regain the lead and this they did through a cool finish from man of the match recipient Luke Cook. The visitors responded once again and with seconds of the first half remaining, they were awarded a penalty corner and with the benefit of time being blown they flooded the Town ‘D’. Using all of his experience the Ashby injector made a slight adjustment and hesitation, causing a Town defender to break early and be sent to half-way. The resulting set piece found Towns reduced defence overstretched and the ball was slotted in at the back post.

Disappointed to have let their lead slip away twice, Town restarted the second half on the front foot but Ashby were quick to respond and the game became more open and chances fell to both sides. It was once again Town that moved ahead with Andy Hargreaves getting a vital touch to push the ball over the line.

With a little more than fifteen minutes of the game left Ashby went all out to get back on level terms and once again errors by Town gifted them the equaliser. Ashby maintained a high press from the restart and under intense pressure Town conceded a penalty corner which was once again well finished to give Ashby the lead for the first time in the match. Town then failed to hold onto the ball after the restart and another penalty corner conversion put Ashby 5-3 ahead. To their credit Town responded and did make chances to close the gap but the final whistle saw the visitors taking the win.

Town can reflect on a good overall performance against one of the top teams in the league, if they can build on this next week against Coalville 2’s then they shouldn’t have to wait much longer for their first league points.

Junior Roundup

In what was a bumper weekend of hockey for LTHC juniors there were some fantastic performances from all of our teams. Below are some highlights from the games and tournaments.

The Badgers were first off Saturday afternoon, with a trip to Leicester. From the off it was clear that all the work that had been put in at training on defending was paying dividends, and there was strong marking and tackling from the defence. Following a period of sustained pressure in the Leicester half, Loughborough then scored to go 1-0 up. Unfortunately Leicester then scored twice in the last few minutes of the game to prevent the Badgers from getting their first win of the season.

Come Sunday the U12s girls started the day off well, with 3-0, 5-0 and 3-0 victories against Beeston, Ashby and Leicester City respectively. Everyone worked really hard, and the girls really made the most of their opportunities in front of goal, which was great to see.

Our youngest club members (U8s) were then in action, with many of them playing in their first ever hockey match. The team work was brilliant to see, and all the players put their passing, tackling and carrying the ball skills to good use, and most importantly had a great time whilst doing it.

The U12s mixed team then played two matches against the same opposition, with honours being split with one win apiece. Considering it was the first time this team had played together they really gelled as a team, and will hopefully only get stronger from here.

It was then the turn of the U10s mixed team. The first match they won convincingly, thanks to some great attacking hockey, but despite some excellent performances lost their final two matches. Hopefully if availability is good for the next round of matches we will be able to put out two U10s teams, which is testament to the strength of the junior section.

Finally our U14s girls team rounded off the day with defeats to Leicester and Burton. However, there are plenty of positives to take from both games, and hopefully in the next set of matches they will have a goalkeeper which will definitely help.

Categories: Match Reports